A grace sandwich



May 10, 2012, 8:45 AM

On the airplane on the way back from Michigan, I sat with two other women, about my age. They were the talkative kind, and so my pre-boarding prayer for divine appointments looked promising. Nevertheless, we spent the first hour chatting noncommittally about children, grandchildren, jobs, and the reasons for our trip.

The woman in the middle was returning from her mother’s funeral and was distressed that her older sister had undermined the other siblings and finagled the lion’s share of the inheritance. She said she didn’t care about the inheritance but just the insult and betrayal. I seized my opportunity and wedged in the remark that I could not recall a single instance when such greed had panned out well for the greedy party in the long run.

And then I did it: I dropped the “J” word. I said that Jesus had met a man who wanted Him to force his brother to share the inheritance, and that Jesus had responded: “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” (Luke 12:14). I said that Jesus proceeded to warn us about all varieties of covetousness, and about how uncertain riches are, and that richness of life does not consist in the abundance of things we briefly own.

The mention of Jesus thrilled the lady on the aisle seat, who asked if I was “born again,” to which I happily responded that I was. I ventured aloud that it would be good to pray for the lady in the middle (whose name was Donna), since we have all this time together anyway en route to our destination. The woman in the middle consented, and so I started in to ask various things for her in Jesus’ name. Then the aisle seat lady took over and prayed like gangbusters, powerful and scriptural and believing prayer. The woman in the middle wept.

When all that was done, I remarked to Donna that God must love her very much to have sat her between two of His children for the purpose that we should pray for her. And I myself was blessed to have been one of the protective end slices of this “grace sandwich” in the life of one who perhaps for the first time ever has been lifted up to God in prayer.